Richard Perry

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Race Report: Rack Raid 2017... Overtraining

Race Report: GLCL 2017 Road Race Series Race 3 of 5 - Parc Penallta

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Race Details  
Event GLCL 2017 Road Race Series Race 3 of 5 - Parc Penallta
Date & Time 06 June 2017 19:30:00
Type Leisure League
Position 56 of 446

The Parc Penallta Leisure League race is a little more broad in it’s definition of a ‘road race’ in that the bulk of the course is actually off road! The course starts and finishes on tarmac, with a short section in the middle also on tarmac, but the rest of the course is dirt and gravel, although it was more like mud and gravel this year because of the weather. Unusually this year, everyone was huddled inside the Council building out of the rain when I got there.

The race starts about 10 minutes from the car park within the confines of Parc Penallta, so we were soon coralled out of the building for the walk to the start line. This particular race normally involves a serious jostling for position at the beginning with many of the faster runners getting stuck in the wrong position in the pack before the claxon goes. This year was no exception. Everyone tried to line up where they thought appropriate, but the sheer volume of runners on the narrow path meant everything was chaotic from the start. The front runners set off at their usual blistering pace whilst the rest of us tried our best to fight our way through the crowds to find some space to actually run in. After dipping off the path onto the grass on the side, I realised that was not the best option as I slipped along with very little grip. I got back on the path and spotted a few of our guys ahead.

As it was only two days after Rack Raid, I wasn’t expecting much, but I was feeling good so I pushed it along the first flat section knowing the hill that was coming. To my surprise, the hill seemed to be shallower than previous years so instead of struggling my way up, I actually made up a few places before breaking out onto the top path. Feeling better about my chances, I pushed hard again across the top, and then found that the rain had improved the descent considerably by fixing the loose gravel in mud :smiley:. This made life much easier and gave me an extra couple of places before the second lap.

Things were looking good as I passed the start line, I was running well, my knee was holding up brilliantly and was still feeling strong. So I pushed hard into the start of the second lap, gave it everything up the hill and opened up along the top path. At this point, everyone knows the rest of the race is downhill, with about a mile of tarmac path back to the Council offices for the finish after the end of the second lap so it gets a little competitive. I opened up at the top of the hill, keeping a little bit back for the flatter section to the finish then gave it everything I had. I managed to average 6:00 minutes per mile pace for the last 0.7mi crossing the finish line in 56th position. That has to be one of the highest positions I gotton on any of the Leisure League I’ve run :smiley:.

I was immensely pleased, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Despite the liberal definition of ‘road’ used for this race, I think it’s one of the better ones. The variety of surfaces keeps the race interesting. There may be a fairly evil hill that has to be done twice, but there is also a phenomenal finishing section. Once you get to the bottom of the off road hill, the last 0.7mi is still downhill, but it’s a shallow gradient and it’s tarmac so you can really open up and give it everything you have left. It’s also the shortest race in the series so it’s got everything really :wink:.

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